Health And Wellness

6 Tiny Warning Signs Of Depression That Mean It's Getting Worse

Photo: gpointstudio | Shutterstock 
Caucasian nervous woman sitting at the couch in home

Depression can be very subtle in its appearance in your life. A lot of times, people think they’re sad or depressed because of a certain situation or having a case of the "blues." The more severe depression becomes, the less insight and awareness we have regarding it, and the more depressed we become, the less likely we are to seek immediate help. We often tell ourselves that we can handle depression and that when we become depressed, we will know and ask for help but rarely that is the case — especially when the signs of depression start getting worse. The following signs of depression are based on my personal experiences as well as professional experience as a crisis worker and mental health therapist. 

Here are 6 tiny warning signs of depression that mean it's getting worse:

1. You find yourself crying more and more without any specific reason

You may start thinking about all the good things in your life and feel guilty for having these good things in your life and still feeling sad or crying.

RELATED: The Simple Choice That May Be The Secret To Healing Depression

2. Your negative thoughts increase in frequency

For example, rather than having sad or painful thoughts at night time only, you’ll experience them at night as well as during the day.

3. You slowly start isolating yourself from family and friends

I say slowly because at first, it may seem like you are just in need of some alone time, but that alone time seems to progress into isolation from those you love and care about.

RELATED: 8 Sneaky Ways Depression Can Manifest As Body Changes (And Often Gets Misdiagnosed)

4. You spend less time engaging in activities or hobbies you love

I love scrapbooking, sports, and writing. When I find myself not doing those things as I normally do, it’s time to reach out for some help.



5. You find it difficult to pay attention and concentrate on work or school

Your mind may be preoccupied with certain situations or life events going on in your life that are negatively affecting you. Oftentimes, depression causes you to be preoccupied with negative things and as a result, depression becomes worse and worse.

RELATED: A Surprising, Hidden Cause Of Depression (That Nobody Talks About)

6. You have passive or active thoughts of suicide

A lot of people who are depressed feel like they’d be better off dead or that they are serving no purpose in life. Pay attention to these types of thoughts and their frequency. These thoughts can start very simply with thoughts like "I’m not good enough for…" or "Is this even worth my time…" and progress into more serious contemplations and plans to execute.

These are just a few warning signs that you need to reach out for help because your depression is becoming more severe. I know that it can be difficult to reach out for help for many reasons. One reason is that many people in your life may not understand depression or mental illness in general.



Below is a list of things you can do to reach out to someone:

  • Call a crisis line. This is a good option when you’re in immediate need of assistance, especially hours when no one is working or around such as in the middle of the night.
  • Reach out to a community mental health center or private therapist that offers a free consultation. This could be beneficial for the long term as you can learn coping strategies and ways to keep depression at bay.
  • Contact family and friends. This doesn’t mean you have to explain every last detail about your depression or that you’re depressed. Contacting them could help surround yourself with those you love and care about in your life. They may also be able to offer some perspective and help you put certain things into perspective.
  • If your job or school has an employee assistance program or something similar to it, contact someone, and get more information on how to utilize the services.

These are just some ways you can reach out to someone whether or not you want to directly tell them about your depression worsening or not. Make sure to surround yourself with supportive people. Depression can creep up on us at any moment without warning. It is extremely important to prepare and have a plan of action in place before a depressive period.

Also, journaling your feelings on a day-to-day basis may help you identify your depression is worsening sooner rather than later. One of the keys to stopping depression from worsening is to identify patterns and feelings of your depression. Don’t allow it to fester into a severe depression where it’s too late for help. There are people here for you. There are services set in place for you. Make sure to utilize all of the tools available so that your depression does not worsen or get so severe that it becomes nearly impossible to reach out. Make a plan. Depression is real and it’s time to start being proactive rather than reactive in terms of depression.

If you or somebody that you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text "HELLO" to 741741 to be connected with the Crisis Text Line.

RELATED: Brilliant Google Test Can Help You Figure Out If You're Depressed

Brittney Lindstrom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She writes about relationships, psychology, and personality topics.